The National Ocean Policy (NOP) sounds like a wonky and esoteric topic overheard in a Washington D.C. bar. Well it is! However, the NOP is worth learning about because it will be shaping how coastal and ocean resources will be managed for years to come. And the NOP includes specific recommendations that could affect your favorite surf spot, so read on!

Established by Executive Order on July 19, 2010 by President Obama, the NOP created the National Ocean Council, which consists of 27 Federal agencies and departments, providing a venue for agencies to work together cooperatively, share information, and streamline decision-making.

To translate the NOP into on-the-ground actions, the National Ocean Council created the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan describes specific actions Federal agencies will take to address key ocean challenges.

The NOP subdivides the United States into nine regions (see map). In each region, a Regional Planning Body (RPB) will develop and implement a regional ocean plan. Currently only the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic RPBs have begun meeting. This is where you come in—if there is no data on your favorite surf spot it could be overlooked when these regional plans are created. Make sure you complete our recreation survey so this doesn’t happen!

For more info on the NOP, read Surfrider staff Peter Stauffer’s blog about if here.

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